In the first half, entrepreneur and monetary expert Craig R. Smith talked about the state of the US economy, and what he thinks will happen next year under the new President to both the dollar and tangible assets. He also discussed his new book written with Lowell Ponte, Money, Morality, & the Machine, which argues that in an era of "elastic money," society has become debased and greed has triumphed. The banks have manipulated the financial system to suit their own ends and our faith in their integrity has all but evaporated, he contends. "The Machine" of the military-industrial complex eventually became corrupt with central bankers, financiers, politicians, and "at the end of the Cold War, they basically seized control of our government and our economy in what we consider to be a quiet coup d'état," he continued.
Yet, Smith holds out hope that President-elect Trump can turn things around. He is optimistic about the price of gold for the future, as Trump has said he would consider returning to a gold standard. We have to be careful about who controls the money in the US, and right now that's the Federal Reserve system, he noted. While it's not realistic to shut them down right now, Smith pointed out, it would be a big step to get them audited, and then start to make subsequent changes. If Trump is able to reform corporate taxes, bringing the rate down to 15%, "we'll see an economic explosion in the US like never before," with companies seeking to relocate here in droves, he enthused.
In the latter half, legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff, who has played with some of the greatest acts, from John Mellencamp to Bob Dylan, appeared in the LA studio to talk about his illustrious music career, and the music industry. Rock 'n' roll historian R. Gary Patterson also joined the conversation. Aronoff's initial inspiration to become a musician was seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and he formed his first band at age 11. 50 years later, he played with Ringo and Paul McCartney in a special show called "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America."
Patterson talked about the art form of drumming, and how it's the "heartbeat of the song." Aronoff is able to accomplish a great deal of feeling in a short space of time, Patterson continued, such as in Mellencamp's hit Jack and Diane. Aronoff spoke about learning the "less is more" approach which often serves the song better. He also shared some wild touring stories, such as performing while his ribs were broken, and destroying a rented drum set while playing with Smashing Pumpkins in Russia, and later learning that the drum kit belonged to a KGB agent's son.
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